Antibiotics Self-Medication Practice Among Medical Students
Background: Self-medication of antibiotics is common among healthcare students due to their knowledge of pharmacology of antibiotics, which produces a false sense of confidence in self-diagnosis of disease conditions. Hence, this study was conducted to assess the practice of self-medication with antibiotics among medical students.
Methods: This questionnaire based descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted in Nepal Medical College Teaching Hospital, Attarkhel, Kathmandu from September 2019 to February 2020 on the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery students.
Results: Out of 405 students, 214 (52.8%) students had practiced antibiotics self-medication. The most commonly self-medicated antibiotics were azithromycin 126(58.9%), amoxicillin 67(31.3%), metronidazole 35(16.4%) and ciprofloxacin 14(6.5%) that were most commonly used for sore throat 93(43.5%), fever 82(38.3%), common cold 59(27.6%) and cough 43(20.1%).The common sources for self-medication were previous prescription 66 (30.8%), followed by own pharmacological knowledge 58 (27.1%). The most common reasons for practicing antibiotics self-medication were stated as previous experience of same illness 165 (77.1%), doctor’s advice not deemed necessary 21 (9.8%) and save time 14 (6.6%). Large number of students agreed that antibiotics self-medication was not an acceptable practice 308(76.1%) and can lead to antimicrobial resistance 363(89.6%).
Conclusions: More than half of the respondent medical students had practiced antibiotics self-medication. Sore throat was the commonest cause for it while the most commonly self-medicated antibiotic was azithromycin. Self-medication with antibiotics in medical students is concerning because they are future prescribers of antibiotics; who are supposed to promote rational use of antibiotics.
Keywords: Antibiotics; antimicrobial resistance; awareness; medial students; self-medication
Copyright (c) 2021 Deepti Shrestha, Achut Barakoti, Rashmi Shakya Gurung, Rekha Paudel, Jyotshna Sapkota, Satish Deo
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